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UNCLE JACK'S WEBLOG
Friday, August 31, 2007
More pretty boats. Friday August 31, 2007
     Blogwise Uncle Jack is getting lazier by the day.  There is just too much going on outside for him to stay indoors and act responsibly.  Here are some more recent pictures of lovely boats that have been in and out of the harbor in the past few days. He hopes you enjoy looking at them as much as he does.


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Mary Rose, one of Uncle Jack's particular favorites. She is 65 feet long and designed by Herreshoff the younger in 1926. Impeccably maintained and a thing of beauty.

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"Tenacious", a large and extremely expensive rent-a-yacht, came in to refuel yesterday but left almost immediately. Not very pretty compared to the classic yachts nearby.

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Tenacious flies the flag of Bikini Island, another tax haven like the Caymans. At least a half-dozen expensive boats this summer have displayed this shady emblem.

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"Beluga" is a gorgeous old motor yacht about which Uncle Jack has been able to learn nothing. It's in Camden a lot.

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"Saskianna" is a 57-foot Herreshoff-inspired design by Bruce King, built in 1985 by the now-defunct Maine company Renaissance Yachts. Walter Beinecke III, heir to the S & H Green Stamp fortune owned it.

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"Whitehawk" is Saskianna's bigger cousin, built in 1978 by Renaissance, designed by Bruce King. She's 105 feet long and rents for a mere $35,000 a week. Gorgeous boat.

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The U.S. Navy LSD "Oak Hill" (600+ feet long) is moored in the outer harbor for the duration of Windjammer Days. Any boat that approaches closer than 500 feet will be blown out of the water. (Remember the Cole!)

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Progress report for Bob Chinappi. They brought in some new big rocks the other day. Looks like another week should do it.

posted by Uncle Jack at 10:10 AM

Comments [2]



Thursday, August 30, 2007
Campobello trip, III, Thursday August 30, 2007

     The penultimate day of August has dawned bright and beautiful filling Uncle Jack with enthusiasm for getting outside and doing something physical instead of sitting in front of his laptop and composing another wordy blog entry.  He knows full well that these flawless days are not going to last forever.


    He does hope the glorious weather will hold up for a few more days because this week-end is the most exciting in the Camden calendar of events.  Tomorrow morning some two dozen of Maine's finest "windjammers" will descend on Camden harbor (most of them passing directly under Uncle Jack's deck) to set off a three-day celebration of the town's deep involvement in all things nautical. If that doesn't stimulate some prose nothing will.


    In the meantime here are some more pictures taken on our recent trip to Campobello Island and environs.



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A flower bed in front of the Roosevelt cottage on Campobello.

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Lubec lighthouse. Hatteras it is not, but pretty in its own right.

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Annabell's is the place to whoop it up in Lubec. Slightly reminiscent of the old Drafty Tavern on the causeway in Nags Head.

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This magnificent old three-story frame building in Brooklin, Maine has been waiting for a condo developer to come along for a long time. It was originally the Odd Fellows Lodge.

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The opera house in Stonington, Maine. Still in use as are similar venues in many Maine towns including Camden and Rockport.

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This large merchant ship is part of the fleet belonging to the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. Eight hundred students are enrolled here from all over the U.S.

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Castine harbor is pretty but not as pretty as you-know-where. It is a lovely town, though, with the Maritime Academy's beautiful campus as the centerpiece.

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The lighthouse at Castine is as pretty as they get.

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Meanwhile back in Camden the giant plastic yachts keep coming. This one took up 125 feet of dock space at Wayfarer Marine for three days before it departed yesterday.

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The "Appledore", a popular windjammer, sails by Uncle Jack's deck three or four times a day depending on the weather. There will be at least 20 more like it in the harbor tomorrow.

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:19 AM

Comments [6]



Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Campobello, Part II, Wednesday August 29, 2007
     It's another magnificent fall day in Camden, not conducive to sitting in front of a computer.  Uncle Jack therefore will eschew writing a lengthy blog and instead will offer a few more pictures from his recent trip to Campobello Island. (A picture is worth a thousand words....?)


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This herring weir is in front of our friends' house on the Bay of Fundy. Fishermen arrived to empty the weir Sunday afternoon. Six men used this boat and its boom to draw the net together.

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When the zillions of herring had been forced into a "purse" or pocket this larger boat moved in and began to pump the assembled herring into its holds.

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After a half hour of steady pumping the white boat was full and this black boat moved in to get the rest. These herring will probably wind up as lobster trap bait or animal food.

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Lubec, Maine, once a thriving fishing town, is the gateway to Campobello. It's full of old wooden buildings like these, reminiscent of Deadwood, South Dakota and other frontier towns.

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Sunset over Lubec Sunday night. The whole area is breathtakingly beautiful, day or night.

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This place is a veritable shrine to the Maine blueberry which holds iconic status in this state along with the lobster and the potato.

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The "Down East Natural History Museum" cracked us up. It and the blueberry shrine are both south of Lubec a few miles.

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Another view of the museum. In all it covers a couple of acres.

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The famed Brooklin Boat Yard where some of the world's finest sailboats have been built. Many were designed by E.B. White's son, Joel. E.B. White lived just up the road in North Brooklin.

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Stonington harbor is pretty but not nearly as interesting as Camden harbor. We had a magnificently mediocre lunch at this waterfront restaurant.

posted by Uncle Jack at 1:53 PM

Comments [3]



Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Back from Campobello, Tuesday August 28, 2007

     Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. are back in Camden after a delightful weekend visiting friends at their rustic cabin overlooking the Bay of Fundy on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada. It was a relaxing change just to stare at spectacular scenery after three months in the hustle and bustle of Camden harbor.


    Their hosts gave them the grand tour of the island on which some 1200 souls eke out meager livings following the traditional trades and crafts of their forebears---fishing, lobstering, raking blueberries, building summer homes for rich Americans and selling real estate. Their tour included a visit to the most famous structure on the island---the Roosevelt family "cottage" where FDR spent the summers of his childhood and where his children did the same until their father was stricken by polio in 1921 after which he visited Campobello briefly only three times.


    The home and several other buildings in the complex (along with 2800 acres of surrounding woodlands) are maintained by a joint Canadian-U.S. commission as a memorial to FDR and to the traditionally warm relationship enjoyed by the two countries.  It is one of the most beautiful places of its kind Uncle Jack has ever seen.                 


On Monday they took the long way home, visiting a number of picturesque Maine seacoast towns between Campobello and Camden including Blue Hill, Brooklin (home of the author E.B. White), Deer Isle, Stonington, and Castine (home of the Maine Merchant Marine Academy).  They took so many pictures along the way that it will take several weblog entries to show them all.


    Here's a start:


    



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Sunrise over Camden harbor, Tuesday August 28, 5:15 a.m.

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Ditto. Fifteen minutes later. Worth getting up for.

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The Roosevelt cottage, built in 1897 and later expanded as the family grew.

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Looking toward the bay through an oval window in the sitting room. The house and all the furnishings were quite simple and unostentatious. The Roosevelts had so much old money they didn't have to show off.

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Riotously colored flowers bloom everywhere on the grounds of the Roosevelt compound.

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A view from the porch. Those are salmon pens out in the bay. Aquaculture has been taking over from fishing as fish stocks have depleted.

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FDR's and Eleanor's five children were tutored in this room. It must have been hard to keep their minds on arithmetic and the like.

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Head Harbor on Campobello. No fancy yachts around here.

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Head Harbor light. You can walk to it at low tide but caution is advised. The tidal reach here is about 25 feet and the water is icy.

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This picturesque old Anglican church is one of the many charming buildings on Campobello.

posted by Uncle Jack at 7:34 AM

Comments [5]



Saturday, August 25, 2007
Sunrise in Camden, Saturday August 25, 2007

    Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. are driving the Mini up to Campobello Island in Canada this morning to spend the weekend with friends who have a summer place there.  They plan to be back in Camden Monday night but in the interim they will be in a communications black hole with no cell phone service and no internet connection. This is why you won't find a new blog entry in this space until next Tuesday morning at the earliest.


     Older readers may remember that FDR had a summer home on Campobello Island which he and Eleanor visited from time to time back in the 30's and 40's.  Their house is still preserved as a National Monument by the Park Service---the only one located on foreign soil according to Google.


    It's about a four-hour drive up Route 1 from Camden to Lubec, Maine where the bridge to Campobello will take them into Canada if they remember to bring their passports. (They could easily be mistaken for terrorists). Much of the drive is along the coast so they are looking forward to seeing some  gorgeous scenery along the way, none of  which will be obscured by billboards.  They are banned by state law and amazingly everybody seems to get along perfectly well without them.


   Pictures on Tuesday.  Have a great weekend wherever you are.


    


  



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Sunrise in Camden, 5 a.m. Saturday.

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Ditto at 5:30 a.m.

posted by Uncle Jack at 6:57 AM

Comments [3]



Thursday, August 23, 2007
Busy, busy, busy. Thursday, August 23, 2007

     Uncle Jack has been so busy with entertaining guests and driving to and from the Portland airport that he hasn't been able to keep up with his weblog.  He has managed to take a few pictures from time to time and they will have to suffice for today's entry.


     It's chilly up here in Maine---a high of 65 today.  Uncle Jack could use a nice  Outer Banks scorcher to warm him up. He and Mrs. U.J. are off to Canada on Saturday for the week-end and they will be packing their longjohns for sure. 


    Uncle Jack made a short video this morning of the windjammer "Mercantile" passing by on the way to Penobscot Bay carrying Ms. Gigi Guyton, formerly of New Orleans, now of Maine, who is taking her first windjammer cruise.  You can see it by clicking on the YouTube link below the pictures.



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The current winner of the "mine is bigger than yours" competition is "Four Wishes", a 144 foot guzzle mobile that carries 10 people in decadent luxury for $143,000 per week. A crew of nine does all the work.

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"Ma Mu VI" is back. She looks like a bathtub toy compared to "Four Wishes".

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Uncle Jack much prefers the lines of this classic Herreshoff-designed yacht built in 1926. This is "Mary Rose", famous among classic yacht fans.

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This antique 1930's speedster was built by the Old Town company, now famous for their Maine canoes. It's for sale, as is, for $5000 by the folks who have owned it since it was built.

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It was a tight squeeze in front of the apartment this morning with one windjammer coming in and another going out in the narrow channel between two parked yachts.

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We're not sure why this guy is riding on the anchor chain but there must be a reason.

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The "Clear Vision" departs after a two-day stay at Wayfarer Marine. Probably belongs to a wealthy optometrist.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0whRmg1F4Po

posted by Uncle Jack at 4:51 PM

Comments [6]



Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Another day, another trip to Portland, Tues. August 21, 2007

    It's another gorgeous day in Camden, perfect for another trip to the Portland airport to deposit Sophia, Isabella and their mom where they will catch a plane to Baltimore this afternoon.  It has been a whirlwind visit filled with the eating of many blueberry pancakes interspersed with cultural activities like schooner trips and visits to the library and the ice cream cone store.  Exhausting but exhilarating ---at least for grandma.


    Uncle Jack made a short video of a little sailboat cruising around in the harbor on Sunday.  If you would like to take a breather and watch some people really enjoying themselves click on the YouTube link below the pictures.



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Darth Vader is back in town.

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"Cocktails", another Florida diesel burner has been tied up at the Wayfarer dock since Saturday. It's only 100 feet long so it doesn't really measure up to some of the other recent visitors.

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The sun sets in the west up here but very often it's prettiest in the east.

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Sophia would rather read than eat.

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Isabella would rather eat than almost anything.

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Progress report for Bob C. Looks like they're almost finished.

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You can make this little boat move by clicking on the YouTube link below.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCez_YpNZBs

posted by Uncle Jack at 11:30 AM

Comments [6]



Monday, August 20, 2007
Changing of the Guard, Monday August 20, 2007

    Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. took Emily to the airport in Portland yesterday afternoon to catch her flight back to Oakland, California.  She flew out here on Delta, arriving 12 hours late after numerous cancellations and missed connections, none of them her fault.


    Disgusted with Delta she decided to try United for her return trip. Unfortunately United seemed to be determined to show that they could out-Delta Delta by announcing that her 5:15 flight to Chicago had been cancelled and the next flight was at 8:30 p.m. which would cause her to miss all her connections thereafter and the earliest she could get to Oakland was 1 p.m. today which was 13 hours late. (She could have flown to London and back via British Airways in the same amount of time).  Uncle Jack will never fly again if he can possibly avoid it.


     While they were at the airport they picked up Mrs. U.J.'s daughter, Colleen, and her two adorable granddaughters, Sophia and Isabella who have graced Uncle Jack's weblog on numerous occasions.  They have all gone on a cruise into Penobscot Bay today of which Uncle Jack hopes to have pictures later.


     It's an absolutely gorgeous day in Camden---exactly the opposite from Saturday when the First Annual Hope Jazz Festival was nearly rained out and blown away.  The rain stopped at noon when the music was to begin but the wind wreaked havoc with the sound system, large parts of which kept blowing over, and the audience shivered through the afternoon.  The music was great, though, and everybody hopes the organizers will be able to do it again next summer.



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Pianist Glenn Jenks's nearly frozen fingers did not prevent him from banging out some great ragtime. He lives in Camden but performs all over the U.S. at ragtime festivals.

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Al Corey's Big Band fought the wind to a standstill. This great band has been together for 60 years and is continuing despite Al Corey's death in 2003.

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The crowd was very small because of the ghastly weather but very enthusiastic. Bob Skoglund, a.k.a. the humble Farmer, a very popular Maine entertainer, suggested that next year the Festival should be held in the summer. August 18 is a little too late.

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The motor yacht "Bayou", all 124 feet of her, was tied up at Wayfarer Marine over the week-end and left Monday morning. She was built in Louisiana in 1989 and is ludicrously luxurious.

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"Bayou" was way ahead in the "mine is bigger than yours" contest until Steve Forbes's storied "Highlander" (151 feet)arrived in the outer harbor on Sunday.

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A peek into Donna Marie's pilot house as she departed Camden on Sunday after two expensive days at the town dock. This monster rents for about $25 or $30 thousand a week. At least it doesn't burn diesel fuel when it isn't moving.

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This is Donna Marie in toto. That's a lot of fiberglass.

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It was breezy enough on Sunday morning for this little wooden boat to scoot in and out among the larger boats in the harbor for a couple of hours. A very skillful and daring sailor was at the helm.

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He really cut it close a few times. The boat was built by master craftsman Alec Brainerd of Camden whose shop U.J. and Mrs. U.J. visited when they were looking for a small boat. This was sells for $14,000 which was a little of their range.

posted by Uncle Jack at 12:41 PM

Comments [5]



Friday, August 17, 2007
Playing tourist, Friday August 17, 2007
     Uncle Jack's only begotten daughter, Emily, is visiting from California so he has been too busy to do his weblog duties.  The pictures below will give you some idea of what they have been doing.


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They went for a two-hour cruise on the Lazy Jack into Penobscot Bay. Emily helped hoist the sails.

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Mrs. U.J. waved as they passed by their apartment.

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They saw an osprey perched on a navigational marker at the entrance to the harbor.

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and cormorants drying their wings on a rock.

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The windjammer Lewis R. French went by with all sails hoisted.

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Windjammers all over the place.

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Marvelous Moondance would like this boat.

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This handsome replica of you-know-what is on display at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland which they visited this afternoon.

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On the way home they drove through Aldermere Farm in Rockport, home to a herd of belted Galloways.

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The Bellflower, 88 feet of diesel-gulping fiberglass from Palm Beach, muscled her way into the town dock this afternoon.

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:56 PM

Comments [2]



Wednesday, August 15, 2007
To the dump. Wednesday August 15, 2007

    About the most exciting thing Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. did yesterday was take their garbage to the dump so he doesn't have much in the way of a blog. He decided to do an entry for the Village Soup on the beginning of hurricane season on the Outer Banks and you can read that by clicking on the link below the pictures.


    A lot of big charter yachts have been coming and going the past couple of days.  They actually get boring after a while because they all look the same. Here are some pics anyway:



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This is one of the 106-foot Broward yachts whose name is legion. He can't remember the name of this one in particular that came in to fill up its obscene diesel tank yesterday.

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Here's another, slightly smaller, that is parked at the town dock at the moment.

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Kalevala and Virago should send you to your dictionaries. Kalevala is another tax-dodger flagged in the Cayman Islands.

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Amneris is from Jaluit in the Marshall Islands, another tax haven. One of the crew members didn't know who Amneris was. Do you?

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Apparently they decided not to scrap "Scrap It" and are scraping it instead.

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Another lovely Camden housefront garden.

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Bob C's rock gardeners at work.

link: http://knox.villagesoup.com/Blogs/story.cfm?storyID=98171

posted by Uncle Jack at 12:21 PM

Comments [6]



Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Awesome sunset, Tuesday August 14, 2007
     Monday was uneventful right up until sunset when it suddenly became a day to remember.  Uncle Jack has seen a lot of sunsets in his long life but not many could equal this one. His little Sony wasn't really up to the task of recording it but perhaps these pictures will give you some idea.


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Looking southeast at about 7:15---a reverse sunset.

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Five minutes later, same direction.

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Meanwhile over in the west where a sunset is supposed to be.

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Looking northwest over Mount Battie.

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Looking south. The entire sky was lit up like this in all directions.

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Looking almost straight overhead.

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One of the many diesel guzzlers that visited the Wayfarer Marine pumps yesterday. This is a 105-foot Broward motor yacht out of Ft. Lauderdale called "Soulmate".

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Here's another called "Island Holiday". They must have a very large cookie cutter down there in Broward.

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The New York Yacht Club cruise is over and the headquarters boat, the beautiful "Black Knight" leaves the harbor, probably for the last time this summer.

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This lovely little wooden boat came in yesterday. Much more pleasant to look at than the diesel guzzlers.

posted by Uncle Jack at 7:45 AM

Comments [7]



Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunset cruise on "Too Elusive", Monday August 13, 2007

     A beautiful 80-foot sailing yacht called "Too Elusive" is regularly parked right in front of Uncle Jack's deck on the Camden waterfront and he and Mrs. U.J. have watched it embark and return many times in the past couple of months.  Last evening they watched from the deck of "Too Elusive" itself when the owner, Kitt Watson, invited them and their next-door neighbors along for a sunset cruise out into Penobscot Bay.


    It was a gorgeous evening with just enough wind to push the big boat along at a merry clip without kicking up spray that would discomfit the passengers. Beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres were served by the crew when they weren't rushing around adjusting the sails to make the boat go faster.  Needless to say a good time was had by all.  (Mr. Watson is a grandson of Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, which enables him to keep a boat like this but Uncle Jack can tell you that if the money ever runs out he could make a nice living doing stand-up comedy).


    Uncle Jack took a bunch of pictures, some of which appear below.   



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"Too Elusive" at its berth near Uncle Jack's deck. It was built in England seven years ago and has won many races.

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You may remember this flag from a previous blog.

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Distinguished guests from the Outer Banks of North Carolina living it up while a crew member dashes to his next assignment.

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Kitt Watson at the wheel and other guests, leaving Camden harbor at 5 p.m.

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Kitt's four-year-old daughter is a seasoned sailor, utterly fearless much to the dismay of her father and the crew.

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Tilt. The port side railing was nearly in the water a couple of times when our speed reached ten knots.

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Old-fashioned wind power at work.

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The windjammer "Appledore" and a full load of passengers passed in front of us on the way back into Camden harbor.

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Home again, three hours later. Our apartment is under the white chimney.

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:29 AM

Comments [8]



Sunday, August 12, 2007
"Antlantide" steals the show, Sunday August 12, 2007

     In his last blog (which seems like a long time ago) Uncle Jack showed a picture of a "mystery ship" out in the harbor that he was hoping he would find out more about.  Lucky for him that boat came into the dock at Wayfarer Marine to refuel on Friday so he and Mrs. U.J. walked over to look at it.  Because it had such great local interest he posted a blog about it on the Village Soup which you can get to by clicking on the link below the pictures.  A beautiful boat with a fascinating history.


     The weather has been lovely up here for the past few days so it has been hard for Uncle Jack to force himself to sit in front of his laptop.  He did take a few pictures while they were out and around which he submits forthwith. He hopes you're having a pleasant weekend.


   



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Can anybody think of a good caption for this one? The big dogs are Newfoundlands.

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The Farmers' Market was jumping on Saturday. Fresh local corn, peaches, tomatos---even garlic. Uncle Jack is still eating two tomato sandwiches a day.

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A drunk driver ran into this utility pole Saturday morning, plunging part of Camden into darkness and causing the horrendous traffic on Route 1 to be rerouted for about four hours.

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This cute little old Chevvy pickup belongs to the Woolly Willow Canoe Company.

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Latest progress report on the rock garden for Bob Chinappi. This is as of noon on Saturday.

link: http://knox.villagesoup.com/Blogs/story.cfm?storyID=97922

posted by Uncle Jack at 7:34 AM

Comments [3]



Friday, August 10, 2007
Sunrise in Camden, Friday August 10, 2007

     Uncle Jack has been sleeping in until 6 or even 7 o'clock the past week or so and consequently missed all the sunrises during that period.  For some reason he woke up at 5 this morning and he is glad he did because the sunrise was mind-blowing as the pictures below can partially attest.  He is sadistic enough to report that all indications point to another cool, sunny day in Camden with a high around 75.


     Maine is in the vanguard of the movement toward organic farming and the establishment of farmers' markets which enable consumers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables directly from those who grow them at a considerable saving from supermarket prices. Camden's farmers' market is long-established and one of the best and it's only a few blocks from Uncle Jack's apartment.  Every Saturday morning from 9 to 12 and every Wednesday evening from 4:30 to 6 a large number of the area's organic farmers display their wares in the parking lot of a local company which donates the space.


     The past few weeks have been delightful as more and more locally grown produce ripens---first blueberries and strawberries and now sweet corn, squash, tomatoes, beets, peaches, plums, carrots, lettuce of all kinds, and numerous other edibles which Uncle Jack has never heard of.  Mrs. Uncle Jack has been loading up on this good stuff twice a week and he can tell you it's almost enough to turn him into a vegetarian. Almost.


     They wandered through the Wayfarer Marine yard yesterday on their daily walk and ogled some more of the big yachts.  While they were there the traveling crane picked up a very large motor yacht called "Scrap It" and carried it to a spot in the yard where it will undergo repairs.  Uncle Jack made a short video of the procedure which you can view by clicking on the YouTube link below the pictures.


    


    



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Sunrise over the harbor, I.

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Sunrise over the outer harbor.

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Sunrise over Mount Battie.

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Fresh organic tomatos at the Farmer's Market. Uncle Jack has been scoffing tomato sandwiches on Pepperidge Farm white bread with mayonnaise, salt and pepper for several days now. Nirvana.

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"Scrap It" from Philadelphia is just about as much boat as the Wayfarer's crane can handle.

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Click on the video link to see the traveling crane in action. It's steered by the man with the remote control in his hands.

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This antique yacht has been anchored in the outer harbor for a couple of days. Uncle Jack hopes to learn more about it before it departs.

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Ditto for this three-masted, 100+ foot yacht that anchored nearby.

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Hydrangeas of many colors are popping out all over Camden at the moment.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn0NdwikbDI

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:05 AM

Comments [13]



Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Rainy day in Camden, Wednesday August 8, 2007

     Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. had planned to drive over to Rockland to ogle the New York Yacht Club fleet that is spending a day in the harbor over there but the fog is so thick and it's raining so hard they decided to wait until the same boats come to Camden later this week. This is going to be another very bad day for the windjammer operators because nobody is going to want to go for a cruise in the bay under these conditions.  Not even the owners.


     This will be a great day for napping and reading---two activities at which Uncle Jack excels, along with eating and drinking.  If the rain lets up this afternoon they may stroll over to the library and watch the juggler who is supposed to do a free performance at one o'clock.  Then again they may not.


    Uncle Jack read an article about a writer named Harlen Coben in the Atlantic Monthly yesterday.  He had never heard of him before but it seems that Mr. Coben is a best-selling writer of "thrillers" who makes $3-4 million for each book he cranks out which he does at the rate of one a year. Uncle Jack thought it might be fun to see if he is as bad as Nicholas Sparks but he doesn't think that is very likely. Anyway if he ever finishes "Promise Me" it he will let you know.   


    Stay cool if you can. 



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The mega-yacht "Whisper", another of the many swank boats registered in the Cayman Islands for tax purposes, heads for the open sea.

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It takes two people equipped with headset radios to steer her safely out of crowded Camden harbor. The man behind the wheel can't really see what's ahead.

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"Scrap It" is another of the seemingly thousands of plush yachts available for charter for all who have $30 thousand a week or more to spend on their vacations.

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"Marguerite" is another spectacular yacht in the same class as "Whisper". He can understand why President Bush wanted to lower the tax rates for the folks who own these boats because they cost a lot to keep up.

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Somebody had enough money left over to buy this antique Austin-Healey roadster which was parked at the Wayfarer Marine dock yesterday.

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Exceptionally pretty sunset last night.

posted by Uncle Jack at 11:50 AM

Comments [2]



Monday, August 6, 2007
"La Dolce Vita" (and others) in Camden, 8/7/07

        Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. have been so busy for the past few days that he hasn't had time to blog in a timely fashion.  He has taken a shortcut again and asks that you click on the link below that will take you to his blog in the Village Soup which he just posted.  He has added a few pictures below that wouldn't be of any interest to Camden readers but might be to you all. 


    We are having a cool spell up here and this afternoon it rained like crazy for a while and an ocean swell was coming into the harbor and bouncing all the million dollar yachts around.  Fun to watch from a dry place.



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Snowballs in August in Harbor Park.

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Another typical front-yard flower display. They are everywhere in Camden.

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This magnificent old Victorian overlooks the harbor. The gingerbread on this house would feed an army of trolls for a year.

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This guy showed up while we were eating dinner on the deck last night. Very rare appearance of a seagull in the harbor.

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Progress report on the rock garden for Bob Chinappi. They didn't do much over the weekend.

link: http://knox.villagesoup.com/Blogs/story.cfm?storyID=97733

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:29 PM

Comments [3]



Saturday, August 4, 2007
Brrrrr...Camden, Saturday Aug. 4, 2007

    A violent thunderstorm Friday night blew the hot air out of the mid-coast and brought a sudden end to the Lobster Festival festivities in Rockland.  The wind has switched around to the north and it's too cold to sit on the deck so Uncle Jack and Mrs. Uncle Jack got in the Mini and did some exploring this morning for the first time since they got here.


    They first visited "Temple Heights Camp" about ten miles north of Camden where the Spiritualist Church established a campground back in the 1880's.  It ain't quite what it used to be (the Spiritualist Church has not yet produced a president so its impact on world affairs has been fairly minimal) but it's still functioning at Temple Heights which you could Google if you wanted to know more.


     From there they drove through back roads to Lincolnville to the Cellar Door Winery, Maine's first and almost only vineyard which is now about ten years old.  They have been advertising a free lunch and winetasting for the past couple of weeks which is the kind of event that Uncle Jack never misses if he can help it.  Unfortunately they seemed to have forgotten completely about the lunch part by the time he got there but the wines were very nice and he even bought a bottle made from Maine blueberries that might have been aged in a barrel that was previously used to store Welch's grape juice.  Anyway they have done a beautiful job of converting an old 18th century barn into a tasteful and interesting retail store that only slightly resembles a Crate and Barrel. Anyway it was nice to get out of booming, bustling Camden for a few hours and they look forward to doing it again in September and October.



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If you ever feel the need to get in touch with a deceased relative this would be the place to come.

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This is the view of the ocean from the Temple. A number of old Victorian summer cottages share the view. Neat place well off the beaten path.

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Some of these houses are for sale if you really want to get away from it all and live a more spiritual life.

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Mini contemplates the vineyard view at Cellar Door while Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. check out the wines. They think you have to be slightly demented to want to make wine in Maine but what the heck. Some people like to own yachts.

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"Aeolian" was featured in an earlier blog entry when it was hauled for extensive repairs. The skipper took us inside to see how it's going yesterday. That gorgeous boat is almost unrecognizable at the moment.

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A new teak deck is being fabricated in Florida and will be fitted after all the corrosion spots in the metal sub-deck have been dealt with.

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The interior is a mess. Plywood coverings have been built to protect all the elegant woodwork while the work is going on. How they will ever get it back together again is a mystery to Uncle Jack.

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For Bob C. A visual progress report on our neighbor's rock garden.

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"Whisper", a fantastic 116-foot private yacht built in Holland in 2003, backs into its spot at the town wharf. With only a few feet to spare the bow thrusters came in very handy.

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Five Hatteras-style sport fishing boats were nested at Wayfarer for the past couple of days. It looked like Pirate's Cove over there for a while. They have gone, thank goodness.

posted by Uncle Jack at 4:19 PM

Comments [2]



Friday, August 3, 2007
Sunrise in Camden, Maine Friday August 3, 2007

      Camden harbor has been so busy the past couple of days with the comings and goings of various mega-yachts that Uncle Jack felt compelled to do another weblog entry for the Village Soup last evening.  You can read it by clicking on the link below. Some stunning boats are on display.


    The pictures below are not included in the Village Soup posting for one reason or another but you might find them interesting.  Then again you might not.


    Anyway it was hot again yesterday by Camden standards---all the way up to 80 at one point.  Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. attended a boat launching at Rockport Marine in the morning and went to another free concert at the outdoor amphitheater last night.  Never a dull moment in Camden, for sure.


    



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Sunrise over the harbor, 5:30 a.m., Friday August 3.

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Three excellent musicians who call themselves "Too Human" play and sing jazz/pop standards (e.g. "It Had to be You") as well as their original tunes. Great group, great setting and all FREE, courtesy of the Camden library.

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This exquisite 18-foot, all-wood boat took ten months to build at Rockport Marine (builders of the "Godspeed" replica at Jamestown). Here the mast is being stepped and rigged before launching.

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Andre the seal is probably Rockport's most famous former resident. He's worth googling if you like reading amazing animal stories.

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Camden is replete with dry (unmortared) rock walls like this one in the amphitheater. Building them is something of a lost art.

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Uncle Jack never tires of watching energetic younger people shinny up masts. This guy was amazing because that is a very tall pole.

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Uncle Jack's neighbor "Anjacaa" leaves the dock under sail yesterday. A neat trick in this crowded harbor requiring real seamanship.

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For more about this incredible boat, "Hetairos", click on the Village Soup link.

link: http://www.villagesoup.com//guestcolumns/story.cfm?storyID=97547

posted by Uncle Jack at 6:23 AM

Comments [1]



Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Village Soup, Wednesday August 1, 2007
    For the past few weeks Uncle Jack has been doing a blog for a local online newspaper called "The Village Soup".  He just posted this week's installment which you can see by clicking on the URL below. (If everything works the way it should). The "Soup" is a very interesting experimental virtual newspaper which brings the community breaking local news daily instead of weekly.  It also has a print analog which comes out once a week on Thursday.

link: http://www.villagesoup.com//guestcolumns/story.cfm?storyID=97444

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:25 AM

Comments [9]




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Uncle Jack lived in Nags Head for 35 years before he moved to Baltimore a couple of years ago. He still has a house in South Nags Head which he and Mrs. U.J. visit every chance they get.
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